Elements of Blues Guitar

“blue note” bend: This lick involves bending the third note of a scale up slightly, giving it a bluesy, expressive quality.

hammer-on and pull-off: This technique involves striking a note with your fretting hand, then quickly hammering down on a higher note and pulling off again, creating a fast and fluid sequence of notes.

double-stop bend: This lick involves bending two adjacent strings at the same time, creating a powerful, full-bodied sound.

partial double-stop bend: One note stationary, the other bends

slide: Sliding up or down the fretboard with your fingers can create a smooth and soulful effect that’s perfect for blues playing.

trill: This lick involves rapidly alternating between two adjacent notes, creating a fast and lively sound that’s great for adding energy to a blues solo.

vibrato: This technique involves quickly bending and releasing a note to create a wavering, expressive sound.

call-and-response phrasing: This is a common technique in blues music where you play a phrase and the next phrase “responds” with something complementary (a common rhythm, a common group of notes, a combination of tension and resolution, etc.). This pattern creates a conversation-like feel and adds a lot of interest to a blues solo.

“I-IV-I-V” turnaround: This lick is one of the most common phrases in blues music and is used to transition from the V chord back to the I chord.

8 & b7, 8 & 6, 8 & b6, 8 & 5, 1 4 b5 5